CBN warns Nigerians of illegal financial operators

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC), Monday warned the general public of unlicensed or illegal financial operators (IFOs), saying they should refrain from dealing with them.

According to the committee, the warning comes because these illegal financial operators lure and defraud unsuspecting members of the public by offering extra-ordinary returns on investments as bait.

The FSRCC was established by the CBN in April 1994, to address more effectively, through consultations and regular inter-agency meetings, issues of common concern to regulatory and supervisory bodies.

In a statement published by the CBN on its website on Monday, the FSRCC drew the attention of the general public to the worrisome increase in the activities of the Illegal Financial Operators which portends grave risk to public confidence and the stability of the Nigerian Financial System.

The statement advised the members of the public to visit the websites of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other relevant member agencies of the FSRCC to verify the registration and license status of such companies and schemes before investing in them.

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“You are also advised to report any individual or entities suspected to be involved in such nefarious activities to the law enforcement agencies,” the statement said.

It further said that financial regulatory agencies shall continue to carry out all necessary due diligence before registering/licensing any operator under their regulatory purview.

In addition, it stressed that agencies shall refer to relevant supervisory authorities for confirmation before finalizing on any registration/licensing application. Member agencies are encouraged to engage in regular sensitization campaigns on the threats posed by the activities of Illegal Financial Operators.

The statement signed by the Secretary, FSRCC, said further enquiries should be addressed to: the director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Central Bank of Nigeria, and / or the executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission.